To David Cameron and his crew of cheap-work conservatives, an extremist is a Muslim.
David Cameron promised us a crack-down on extremism as early as 13th May: “For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens: as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone.”
In this video, you can hear David Cameron explain that he has no notion that either the US or the UK ever intervened violently and lawlessly in the Middle East prior to 11th September 2001. Apparently for David Cameron, history began when he became the MP for Witney on 7th June 2001: nothing important could have occurred before then.
David Cameron promised us:
“What we are proposing is a bill which will have certain measures within it, measures such as introducing banning orders for groups and disruption orders for individuals, for those who are out there actively trying to promote this hatred and intolerance which can lead to division in our society and undermines our British values.”
What Cameron means by “actively trying to promote hatred and intolerance” isn’t the “love of authority, and panic at its absence” that we see in the Christians claiming that if same-sex couples can marry, they are being persecuted: he does not mean the religious conservatives of a foreign power who are plotting an overthrow of law and order in the name of hatred and intolerance.
When Nicky Morgan, the Conservative Education Secretary, proposes on 30th June this year that teachers should look out for homophobia in their students as a sign of extremism, does she really mean (“Britain is still, I think, a basically Christian country” – “I’m a huge supporter of faith schools”) to include Christian opposition to LGBT human rights, including marriage, as a sign of “extremism”? Even if by November 2014 Morgan was advocating that faith schools should teach LGBT rights, and saying she’d changed her mind on same-sex marriage, is she really saying that her own opposition to lifting the ban on same-sex marriage in the House of Commons in 2013, was an indicator of extremism?
I don’t think so. I think that to David Cameron and his crew, only Muslims can be extremists: Christians who claim that their religious beliefs put their actions above the law cannot be extremists.
To Tim Farron, still sulking over losing 10 LibDem constituencies in Scotland to the SNP, and perhaps a bit cross that no one but himself felt Alistair Carmichael deserved loud, public forgiveness for leaking a memo, it’s even simpler: David Cameron’s five-year plan for government-funded denunciation of “a radical ideology that is not just subversive, but can seem exciting” isn’t “almost Orwellian Big Brother authoritarianism” – to Tim Farron, that’s the SNP.
“However, it is important to note what the Nationalists are doing in government. They have a single national politicised police force where police on the streets of the Highlands, and there aren’t many streets in the Highlands, are automatically now tooled up.
“We have an identity database system which is very similar to the one Tony Blair tried to introduce. In Edinburgh they are setting forward with plans to have facial recognition software on CCTV, so there’s a real sense of almost Orwellian Big Brother authoritarianism up there.”
(The SNP are responsible for creating Police Scotland out of eight regional police forces, but Stephen House’s decisions about armed police on routine patrols and facial recognition software, are his own, not the Scottish government’s: Stephen House’s policy decisions are not subject to the Scottish Parliament’s approval. The Police National Database that Tim Farron seems to think is an SNP creation, is UK-wide and was launched in June 2011 after eight years of development.)
The SNP are sitting in the Liberal Democrat seats in the House of Commons: so the SNP are the enemy of the LibDems. Even if only one SNP MP is a Muslim, to Tim Farron, they’re more of an authoritarian threat than his erstwhile allies, the Conservatives.
Yasmin Qureshi, the Labour MP for Bolton South East, noted that Muslims are constantly being called on to apologise for the actions of Muslim extremists.
“It feels absolutely awful. In Charleston you had a white man who went and killed nine black people in a church. I don’t hear anybody saying that the whole of the white population has to apologise for the action of one white man.”